A U.K agency has included U.S. health insurers in the pool of companies that can help administer National Health Service coverage.

England’s new “Framework for Procuring External Support for Commissioners,” a kind of buying club for government-owned regional health plans, has chosen European units of at least 3 U.S. health insurers to join the initial pool of suppliers.

The units are subsidiaries of Aetna Inc., Hartford; Humana Inc., Louisville, Ky.; and UnitedHealth Group Inc., Minnetonka, Minn.

The United Kingdom is trying to improve the National Health Service, the agency that provides health coverage in England, by creating a system of regional “primary care trusts.”

The PCTs will be buying developing health plans to meet the needs of local residents and buying health care from the care providers.

Aetna, Humana and UnitedHealth will join with 11 other U.S. and European companies in marketing their services to the PCTs through the “framework,” or “FESC,” the companies say.

The companies could help the PCTs with tasks such as buying provider services and running disease management programs.

A U.K. Department of Health press release describing the program in more detail is available